This piece is a big deal for Jeff Benjamin. Jeff has championed Jim Thorpe getting his just respect for decades, and Seb Coe was there, since 1984.
“It’s Truly Righting A Wrong!”
Sebastian Coe Surges Ahead On Jim Thorpe!
By Jeff Benjamin
As one knows, it’s never been easy to catch up with 3:47 Miler Sebastian Coe!
Yet, 1 year ago, this writer thought he had successfully “boxed” the World Athletics leader and newly appointed IOC member at that time on an issue of true Athletic injustice – The reinstatement of 1912 Legend Jim Thorpe back into the Olympic record books.
As written back in 2021 –
“While many are wholly aware that the Sac & Fox Native-American (who, also with his exploits in baseball, basketball, and especially football has been ranked as one of the greatest athletes of the 20th century) was disqualified in 1912 from his Pentathlon & Decathlon victories and had his medals restored to his family in 1984 by the IOC (Thorpe himself passed away in 1953), controversy still arises from the issue.
The IOC, to this day, has neglected to restore Thorpe’s records and relegated him to co-champion–the silver winners, the athletes that Thorpe beat, had their silver medals elevated to gold when Thorpe was stripped of his remarkable achievements. The IOC also allowed those athletes to keep their golds and have never changed the 1912 record books.”
To add to this – Back in 1984, Coe had written passionately in his book “The Olympians” about this issue and how it needed to be rectified.”
Armed with this evidence, and just when I thought that I had the 2-Time Olympic 1500 Champion boxed in, Seb successfully surged ahead of me on the issue –
“Well, as you know, I’ve been consistent,” said Coe…”I haven’t changed my views, and I will continue to support it!”
With last week’s announcement that Thorpe would finally be returned to his Olympic Glory in the IOC record books, I was able to celebrate with Coe in a figurative “Victory Lap”!
“You know, the great advantage about making this decision on Jim Thorpe is that it’s so obvious that it’s the right decision,” said Coe out here in Hayward Field this week at the World Track & Field Championships, where he emphasized that many were responsible in the IOC for making this happen.
“Under these circumstances, it’s truly righting a wrong.”
Coe also discussed an interesting note on the issue.
“You know, the 2 Swedes who were co-listed with Thorpe for all these years in the record book had always felt uneasy about it throughout their lives,” said Coe, admiring their sportsmanlike conduct.
“So it’s truly a victory for Athletic Justice.”